China launches first electric car for public

October 27th, 2011 - 10:19 am ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Oct 27 (IANS) Chinese car-maker BYD, which is backed by famous US investor Warren Buffett, has made its first all-electric car available to private buyers in the country.

The BYD e6 — launched Wednesday in the southern town of Shenzhen, where the auto-maker is based — will be sold at over 300,000 yuan (about $46,800), Xinhua reported.

The five-seater is equipped with a 75 kw motor and an iron battery, powering the vehicle to a range of nearly 300 km on a single charge in urban conditions, BYD said on its website. It takes 40 minutes to fully charge the vehicle.

The car’s projected top speed is 140 km per hour, said the company, in which Buffett owns a 10 percent stake.

The e6 can save its owner about 75 percent of energy cost compared to ordinary oil-consuming vehicles, said Lian Yubo, the firm’s vice president.

BYD Auto was established in 2003 and is a part of the BYD Co Ltd, a rechargeable battery maker. According to reports, in 2010 production capacity was estimated at 700,000 units, and sales at 519,800 units. In December 2008, Warren Buffet spent $230 million buying up 10 percent stake in BYD.

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